Entertainment

John Denver Trending, It Chapter Two, The Bold Type: Now Playing

Get ready to be shookt

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August is ramping up the start of announcements in the realm of technology. Samsung unveiled the Note 10 while Xiaomi and Realme started teasing their monster smartphone cameras. While we may be busy catching up with everything in tech, we still don’t forget to watch and relax. Here’s what’s Now Playing on GadgetMatch:

Movies to see

Spider-Man
Rodneil: Yes, the first one starring Tobey Maguire. This one recently showed up on Netflix and I couldn’t resist the urge because I’m a Spidey stan after all. It’s a nice throwback and that upside down kiss is still iconic.

The Red Sea Diving Resort
Shivam: Based on true events, the movie highlights Mossad’s attempt to rescue refugees out of Sudan. Who expected an intelligence agency to run a resort in the middle of nowhere? Nobody. And, that’s what makes this action packed movie different.

Shoplifters
Leez: Shoplifters, a Japanese film directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, was awarded the Palme d’Or for main feature at the closing event of the Cannes film festival last year. There was no question as to whether or not I was going to watch it. It was a question of when. I don’t understand why it took me this long to finally getting to watch it but, I finally got to it last weekend. It’s a stunning film that dabbles into the complexity of what it means to be a family with people who tiptoe their way around dysfunction. It’s a thought-provoking film that takes no time in diving deep into the conflicting morals, yet palpable familial connection within a financially deprived family. I’d definitely rewatch it this weekend.

John Denver Trending
Vincenz: Most people post everything on Facebook — even when someone gets brutally attacked inside the school premises. John Denver instantly became a hot topic in Antique. Too bad, the society only believes in one side of the story. The film made an impact on me that it felt heavy during and after watching the film. Best Film of Cinemalaya 2019, indeed.

Shows to binge-watch

SB Nation’s The Rewinder
Rodneil: I don’t have a lot of time to watch anything these days so I’m mostly shuffling through YouTube videos. SB Nation’s The Rewinder is the perfect seven or 10-minute video that takes a look at historical NBA moments and discusses everything that lead up to it.

Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj: The Dark Side of the Video Game Industry
Rodneil: The video game industry is enjoying a surge in attention — both positive and negative. And while video games are generally associated with fun, the people behind it are suffering in ways most of us probably don’t know about. This is an important watch for every gamer.

The Bold Type
MJ: As a young millennial in his early 20s, one can’t help but think about his life’s directions. The Bold Type perfectly captures this scenario where the show features three young women working in a fictional magazine, who navigates the modern life and struggles in love, career, and their identity. Additionally, the show highlights the pressing social and cultural issues which gives that perfect, woke millennial vibe.

Dark
Shivam: If you like Stranger Things, but are looking for some more serious thrill, this show’s for you. It starts out with a simple concept of time travel, but slowly escalates into an in-depth walk-through of inter-dimensional threads. All the characters play a key-role in setting up the story and you’re sure to be glued day and night.

Albums/Songs/Podcasts to listen to

Wasabi by Little Mix
MJ: Everytime I hear this song, I can’t help but feel as if I’m part of a film’s montage, walking like a runway model. “Wasabi” exudes an empowering and confidence-boosting vibe, supported by its lyrics which talks about you not giving a f*ck on people hating on you and raining on your parade. It’s one of the best song to listen when you feel like you’re slaying it.

Love Is Over by Rocket Punch
Vincenz: Don’t get me wrong, their debut title track “BIM BAM BUM” sounds great. However, this B-side track caught my ears which is all about being independent and not relying on love after a heartbreak — which makes sense for its appealing beat, strong vocals, and dark visuals.

Games to play

Underlords
Leez: I’m not too much into mobas from the get go. I grew up playing video games either alone or against my siblings and so, I naturally gravitated to RPGs, platformers, and strategy games. When Underlords was released, most people nagged me to give it a go, especially knowing the type of games I got hooked on and the ones I fell out off quickly. Well, I’m devastated to report that I’ve been stuck playing it at three in the morning almost every single day. If you haven’t heard of the game before, it’s essentially a Valve developed version of Autochess with beloved heroes from Dota 2. It’s a game of strategy and gritting your teeth through the torturous loses. It’s fun, painful, and it’s what you need to realize you need your life straightened out soon.

Films to catch

Ready or Not
Ready or Not is a film about a young bride who participated in a tradition by her new husband’s family. In a sudden turn of events, the newly-wed woman ended up being hunted by her in-laws as part of a diabolical ritual. It’s scheduled to be released on August 21, 2019.

It Chapter Two
It Chapter Two is the sequel to the 2017 film It. The film follows twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise, it returns to terrorize the town once again. It’s scheduled to be released on September 6, 2019.

 


Weathering With You
Makoto Shinkai’s follow-up to the massive 2016 hit Your Name (Kimi No Nawa) promises to deliver the same level of emotion and artistry. The animated film was first released Japan and is already a larger box-office hit than Your Name building up more excitement for viewers around the world.

Matchketeer’s Recommendation

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Kyle Benson Azuelo, Matchketeer: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty will encourage you to do something with your life and chase your dreams. The film is a beautiful reminder to not let life get in our way. We may have responsibilities and different priorities, but the lesson here is to keep going after what you’ve always wanted. It’s impossible to not feel empowered, happy, and inspired upon watching this film.


Now Playing is the GadgetMatch team’s favorite games, movies, TV shows, and more each month. If you’re curious to know what we’re into at the moment, this is what you should check out. So grab your popcorn, get some drinks, and enjoy what’s now playing!

Entertainment

Netflix’s first games will be mobile-only first

Including Stranger Things titles

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Since the rise of its popularity years ago, Netflix has dominated the streaming services industry. Since then, the company has moved past just hosting content on its platform. They have also produced their own content including hit shows like Stranger Things. Now, they are going further than just films and TV series. Netflix is expanding to mobile games first.

Days ago, Netflix announced development towards gaming content. However, in their earnings report for the second quarter of this year, Netflix announced focus on mobile games first. To do so, the company has hired former EA official Mike Verdu for the project.

The company has also listed some properties that it is working on. The first game titles will include ones for Stranger Things. Further, Netflix subscribers will have free access to the games with their subscription. However, since the focus is still on mobile, only mobile users can access them when they come out.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Netflix tried interactive content. Recently, they released a special choose-your-own-adventure version of Black Mirror called Bandersnatch. Viewers were able to steer the film according to prompts on their screen, effectively making their own version of the film. Though the film never kickstarted the interactive film genre, it redefined how Netflix content can be enjoyed digitally.

Now, with whatever Netflix is planning, the company is likely continuing that trend.

SEE ALSO: What does your favorite Netflix genre say about you?

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Netflix could add video games to the platform at no extra cost

It’s trying to create a metaverse

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Netflix Video Games

Netflix revolutionized video streaming a decade ago and has been leading the sector ever since. Now, the company plans to leverage its reach and offer video games on the platform in a bid to dominate the entertainment industry.

The streaming service currently has more than 200 million subscribers globally and hosts movies, TV shows, and documentaries. According to a Bloomberg report, video games will be added as a new genre, and many experts are stoked about its future potential.

The streaming platform hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu to head up the project. He has worked on many projects such as The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars franchises. At Facebook, he was responsible for bringing games and other content to Oculus platforms.

Over the years, Netflix has experimented with many projects that aim to complement its existing entertainment library. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style production that made the watching experience far more engaging and exciting.

It has also previously tied up with third-party developers to release a couple of Stranger Things-themed mobile games. The company has also invested heavily in Game-inspired TV shows and movies such as Dota, Castlevania, and The Witcher.

Investors are also keenly watching how Netflix can establish a metaverse — a variety of virtual experiences, environments, and assets that make up an ecosystem. In simpler words, video games, TV shows, and movies can complement each other to offer a vaster entertainment experience.

While comparing Netflix’s current ambition to Google Stadia or Microsoft xCloud may be an overstatement at the moment, the cloud gaming sector is expected to be the future. If Netflix can gradually ramp up its offerings, the platform can be a formidable competitor in the entertainment space.

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Netflix’s Trese: Beacon of hope for Filipino storytellers

According to a graphic novel writer

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Illustration by Migs Buera

The wide, deep, and varied world of comics or graphic novels was something that remained unexplored until I was forced to because of work. As an introductory lesson to comics and graphic novels, Trese was a part of my reading assignment. And since they did not have all the volumes of Trese, I went on a hunt for it.

The one I got is the Trese: Book of Murders which is in English. It was a quick read but I was more curious to read the Filipino version. Either way, I finished it within the same day I purchased it. And I loved it.

Though I did not delve deep into the fandom, I was curious enough to join the Facebook group and to check on updates every now and then which was why I cheered when I saw that there was going to be an animated series based on the comics.

“Sadly, there are things that had to be sacrificed if it meant getting things done.”

On keeping the art and story

It had been around three years since I last read the entire thing and I needed a refresher. I finished it just an hour before the series was available for streaming.

I watched the entire series in one sitting. Starting from the surface, the art is gorgeous and very pleasing to the eyes, but maybe a tad too Western than what I would have wanted.

Trese

I am not saying that they should have copied the exact art style from the comics but maybe it could have been a bit more Filipino-looking. As much as I adore how Alexandra Trese looked, she looks almost American-Japanese. But, nevertheless beautiful.

Story-wise, it did not change a lot but it surely compressed it a bit. Maybe a bit too much that they had to rely on voiceovers and flashbacks in order to touch on important parts and deliver the story without leaving too many loopholes.

It was understandable but some parts felt dragging just because it was compressed. But that could also be due to other factors. And sadly, there are things that had to be sacrificed if it meant getting things done.

“I can’t think of anyone who can be the voice of Alexandra Trese other than Liza.”

The never-ending discourse about the dub

Now onto the part that everyone has been talking about even before it started to stream―the dub. There’s Filipino, English, Japanese, and Spanish the last time I checked.

I tried it all and I have mixed emotions. I originally went for the Filipino dub mainly because I wanted to get the full Filipino experience. Out of curiosity, I rewatched one episode and tried the other languages.

The Spanish one was almost natural but maybe that’s because of the familiar words that we have adapted. The Japanese one was interesting, giving that anime feel that was kind of cool and maybe had the most emotion among the dubs.

Trese

The English dub was also nice but some Filipino terms and names tend to sound kind of slang. With the Filipino one, it was the most natural one… vibe-wise.

But what I did not like about the Filipino dub was the lack of emotions in some parts and mainly from Alexandra Trese. Though it was established that Alexandra was not that emotionally expressive, she sounded so monotonous throughout the entire series.

Maybe, just maybe, Liza Soberano was focusing on her enunciation that she was not able to deliver enough emotions in her lines. But other than that, I can’t think of anyone who can be the voice of Alexandra Trese other than Liza. Just a bit more voice acting workshop, I guess, and she’s good to go.

TRESE (L to R) CARLOS ALAZRAQUI as SANTELMO and SHAY MITCHELL as ALEXANDRA TRESE in episode 101 of TRESE Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Setting up the stage for other storytellers

It may not be perfect and polished as others may have hoped for but I do hope that Trese can pave the way for other Filipino comics, and other local stories to make their way to a more global or international scene.

Philippine mythology is filled with deities and creatures, which are varied depending on every region of the country. The most common deity mentioned and used is Bathala, the Supreme Being in the Tagalog region, while the most common creature used is the aswang.

Even in the American fantasy TV series “Grimm”, they featured the aswang, but I personally think we have other creatures that are far more horrifying. There is the sigbin which looks like a dog but it walks backwards with its head lowered and it sucks its victim’s blood but during Holy Week, it hunts children for their hearts. That’s just one of the many.

A lot of Filipino creators have shared their vision and interpretation of our mythology and folklore such as Tabi Po by Mervin Malonzo, Mythology Class by Arnold Arre, Ella Arcangel by Julius Villanueva, Janus Silang by Edgar Samar, and more. From popular titles to independent creations that you would see at a smaller comic convention, more artists and writers are showing appreciation for what is ours.

Plenty of mythology to explore

At first, I was not aware of just how vast our own mythological world is and I only knew very little folklore. But when I started to work in Epik Studios Inc., I had to read and learn more. What made me delve deeper was during the time that I was tasked to write the modern take on Bernardo Carpio. Instead of sticking to the popular creatures for the villain, I researched creatures that are barely used. Not only did I find a fitting villain for Bernardo Carpio, but I also found inspiration for new stories that I want to write in the future.

We have a rich folklore and mythology that has yet to be fully showcased but we have a lot of storytellers who wish to show it to the world. It’s about time that we do.

Watch Trese on Netflix.


This opinion piece was written by Patch Aviado, a creative producer and a writer who worked on graphic novels such as Bernardo Carpio, Pedro Penduko: The Legend Begins, Maria Makiling, and Osyana. Together with Viva Books, she published Garden of Sunflowers. Currently, she’s working on an online novel entitled Blue Hearts, Purple Roses. When she’s not writing, she’s busy fangirling.

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